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Feb 19, 2020 12:00:00 PM by InitLive

How Social Media Examiner Grew Conference Volunteers by 200%

Success Story, Conference Event Management

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Social Media Marketing World, held by Social Media Examiner (SME), is a conference designed for social media experts. Their speakers have complete confidence in their field and even boast that they can teach attendees how to get a 10X return on investment. More than 48,000 marketers have attended events held by Social Media Examiner since 2013. With only 50 event staff and a Gantt chart for scheduling, though, growing the volunteer program to handle Social Media Marketing World became troublesome. Texting each other and scrambling around on the day of the event heightened the risk of stress for attendees. SME needed a solution.

Streamlined Scheduling 

SME's event manager, Jaci Feinstein, had been storing volunteer information in an Excel Gantt chart and emailing each volunteer with their schedule. This cumbersome process stunted the growth of the volunteer program. If SME had continued to manage volunteers through Gantt charts, they would have had to hire additional paid staff.

Adopting InitLive allowed them to streamline the process. During signup, volunteer information, waivers, and availability can be gathered up front, reducing administrative workload. InitLive also made it possible for leaders in the volunteer team to be designated as Role Managers. They were able to clearly see which volunteers were working, who was in what role, and how to communicate quickly. Communication about cancellations and no-shows became easy with InitLive's event day app-- a vast improvement over texting and running. That allowed volunteers to focus on the important things, like engaging with attendees.

SME used InitLive to broadcast communications to all volunteers when needed. Large amounts of volunteers could be gathered at once to assist with high energy events. Volunteers always knew what they were supposed to be doing and where to be.

InitLive's broadcasting feature also became integral to SME's emergency plan. In the case of an emergency, InitLive could be used to communicate directly to volunteers. That information could then be communicated to attendees, increasing event safety.


Social Media Marketing World went from an event with only 50 staff to more than 200 staff. There were 4,500 attendees, more than 600 shifts worked, and over 4,000 hours worked. Event manager Jaci Feinstein summarized the experience with: "InitLive is worth every dollar to be able to streamline and better manage, communicate, organize your volunteers. It allows you and your volunteers to focus on what is really important."

Request an on-demand demo of InitLive to see how it can work for you.

  Social Media Examiner  Conference Case Study